CHRISTMAS season in the Philippines is highlighted by “simbang gabi,” “misa aguinaldo,” family reunion, and endless Christmas parties.
Sometimes we have forgotten that the birthday celebrator is Jesus Christ. He wants another thing... forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, unity, and charity.
For the politicians, Christmas is a celebration for consolidation, thanksgiving for the ever-loyal supporters, gift-giving in varied forms that would include personalized Christmas cards and calendars for 2020 bearing their pictures and list of accomplished projects.
The congressmen and the LGU officials may have savings up to the last quarter. They will find means to pour them in more projects and more seminars on this and that training. It simply means that there will be gatherings with food. The politicians will be there to check the attendance of their loyalists and to further confirm their continued support.
The government employees expect that the governors and the mayors will give all the monetary gifts including the much-awaited bonus that would depend upon the COA guidelines and approval. LGUs that won the National Seal of Good Governance (SGLG) from DILG will enjoy additional cash bonus. That is expected!
Some mayors who are mentalists or illusionists may even dare to interpret COA guidelines and shoot up the bonuses of the employees to sweeten their political image. Of course, employees have to sign a waiver that just in case COA will disallow they will just repay that later. That is anchored on ‘enjoy now, suffer later’.
Mayors and governors will allot some sweet amount for the general Christmas party for the permanent and casual employees. Door prizes are heavenly and assorted foods are godly. Each department will be provided also with a savory budget for the employees and their family members to enjoy the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of alcohol.
The government centers and their front yards will be converted into a magical kingdom that even Christ and his disciples will strongly disagree. Public plazas will be converted into Christmas villages. All trees will have lanterns or Christmas lights. At the center could be a giant Christmas tree (German-inspired) and a huge Belen (Mary, Jesus and Joseph) ... featuring the Holy Family as ‘big shots’ because of fantastic artistry.
The sides of the plaza or even the side streets will be loaded with vendors selling “ukay-ukay,” China RTW, foods, and toys. In one area, there is the amusement park featuring rides and of course gambling tables in the guise that it is part of entertainment and because the ‘Filipino masses’ simply love the game of chance. The priests, pastors, and the LGU welfare departments should check on this. ‘Someone’ is enjoying the income in this show.
We find our politicians very generous in this season because they will have a separate budget for the Christmas-related activities for the senior citizens, prisoners, teachers, policemen, street children, and beggars. Politicians can always put on their Santa Claus attire and laugh, “Ho- ho- ho- ho, Merry Christmas!”